I have never worked in an office setting before. Ice cream server, historical tour guide, waitress, and wine sales associate, yes. Something where I needed a pencil skirt? Not really. But it wasn't so much that I never had the right setting for the skirt as that I didn't have a pencil skirt that fit me, (if you are just joining us, I am as pear-shaped as pear-shaped comes!) and if I am not comfortable, I will not wear something. And I don't mean pajama comfortable, but style/fit comfortable. I bet you knew that though. :)
For years I would dismiss pencil skirts. Even when I first opened the shop I pined after fabric that would have made the perfect skirt and just decided that it was never meant to be. Then, one of my friends/staff introduced me to this pattern. It is from Delia Creates and is called the Pleated Pencil Skirt. She swore up and down that it would fit me, and I finally caved. We ordered a few barkcloths from Gertrude Made, (they are here in the shop!) and I knew that if this was such a magical pattern, I might be able to actually use that gorgeous fabric! The thought was enough to push me over the edge.
If you have been in the shop, or heard me in class, you know I don't believe in wearable muslins. I believe in muslins made out of muslin. That way I only look at the fit and don't get caught up with finishing and what-not. I don't believe in wearable muslins. Except for this one. Hear me out: this skirt consists of a few pieces—front and back, lining and waistband. I knew that if I made a regular muslin, I would walk around for about one hot minute and deem it either amazing or terrible. I knew I needed a more in-depth analysis of this pattern and I wasn't about to walk around in a muslin pencil skirt in public. A girl has to have priorities!
So I had to figure out which fabric was going to be my wearable muslin, which was really fun. I thought that the Cotton + Steel Checkers would make a pretty cute skirt. I think I was right. That was the easy part.
All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography
Actually, it wasn't difficult to sew at all. The one thing I would change on my third attempt (yes, I have made two so far!) is the pleat. Right now it is all one piece for the back and the pleat is just a fold all the way down the fabric. I traced a size four for the waist and graded out to a 6 at the hips. I also took just a small wedge out of where the skirt and waistband meet to do an on-the-fly sway back adjustment. That was it. The rest was straight from the pattern. And guys, it fit. IT FIT! Like it actually fit my hips and butt! It was astonishing. After wearing it around all day, I was a convert. Actually, as I type out this post I am currently wearing this EXACT outfit! So, it wasn't just a one-time skirt which, sadly, sometimes happens. This is for real.
So now I want to know--do you wear pencil skirts? If you do, what is your go-to pattern? Your favorite pencil skirt fabric?
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